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Telescope Spies ‘Most Earth-Like’ Worlds to Date

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Posted on Apr 19, 2013
NASAblueshift (CC BY 2.0)

Scientists say they may have found a pair of distant planets that bear a closer resemblance to Earth than any yet discovered, with a chance the worlds contain liquid water on the surface.

It is difficult to tell. The planets are 1,200 light-years away, and thus beyond detailed inspection by current telescope technology. The team working on NASA’s orbiting Kepler telescope—a “prolific observatory” that has confirmed the existence of more than 100 new worlds beyond our solar system since its launch in 2009—said, “They are the best candidates found to date for habitable planets.”

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

BBC:

Planets 62e and 62f also happen to sit a sufficient distance from their host star that they receive a very tolerable amount of energy. They are neither too hot, nor too cold; a region of space around a star sometimes referred to as the “Goldilocks Zone”.

Given the right kind of atmosphere, it is therefore reasonable to speculate, says the team, that they might be able to sustain water in a liquid state - a generally accepted precondition for life.

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